Moon In Scorpio

Chapter 79

Castle apologises to Alexis for having allowed Kate to read what he'd written so far before her, explaining that he'd wanted to get her consent before continuing and telling his daughter that she can read it whenever she wants to as he's expecting her exacting critique as usual.

Martha, slightly hesitantly, inquires about his comment from the previous day in reference to her becoming the first female Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and after hearing about Kate's year at Stanford and the suddenly cut short legal career, she gets up and pulling the girl to her feet, offers her a hug and her regrets at the outcome. Kate is surprised … and grateful, the stress of the morning somewhat eased by Martha's obviously sincere sentiments. Unfortunately, it also adds to her sense of guilt at the lies and the cover-ups. These feelings are accentuated even further when Alexis tentatively puts her arms around her and apologises for her behaviour earlier on.

Castle, aware of the conflicting emotions looks for some comic relief and putting his arms round his daughter, adds "Sorry about not letting you know that Kate was staying Pumpkin, but it started raining pretty heavily last night and I didn't want her coming off her bike again!" turning to look at Kate and ignoring her poking tongue added, "I'm running out of t-shirts"

Alexis, pointedly looking at Kate's borrowed button-up shirt asks in an overly-innocent voice, "Only t-shirts?" and then they're all laughing, Kate's rather red face making Castle quickly put his arms round her before suggesting they raid the fridge and see what they can get for lunch, his stomach choosing that moment to emit a growl of hunger.

They pull out dishes and containers with left-overs, and Rick quickly knocks up some omelettes which they enjoy sitting and standing round the island, Rick pinching a piece of Kate's ham and cheese one much to her indignation and then meekly offering a piece of his own onion, bacon and dates one, which she turns down with a wrinkling of her nose.

Alexis grins and says, "I'm glad I get to keep mine now that he can raid yours Kate, no one ever wants to pinch his!" and then squeals in indignation as Castle promptly tries to grab a piece of hers.

With the meal over, Alexis asks if she can look at what he's written so far, and he tells her where to find the printed out version. When she returns to grab her juice, he turns to Kate, "Maybe you want to join her? Read the some of the changes I've made and there's also another chapter or so …"

Kate nods and following Alexis over to the couch, her intention to leave as soon as is politely possible put on hold at the tempting thought of reading a bit more about her alter-ego.

From the kitchen, Castle watches as his daughter reads a page and then passes it on to Kate in companionable silence, only an occasional question being thrown her way with Kate obviously doing her best to answer. Turning to place a dish in the machine, his attention's drawn to Martha's obvious concentration on the dishcloth she's using to dry the glasses. Watching her for several moments he takes a step closer and asks quietly, "What's up?"

Martha pauses in what she's doing, regarding the well dried and polished glass in her hands for several minutes before flicking her eyes to the two on the couch before turning her eyes on him. "Richard, I like that girl, there's a lot to her and I can see why you're attracted, she's got brains as well as looks, she's as far from Meredith and Gina as you can get …"

"But?" he asks into the silence

"You might fool your daughter Richard, but … please be careful, whatever it is you're getting into"

"What do you mean?" trying for innocent.

Checking that both are still on the couch she turns to him and taps him lightly on his chest with her hand "That sketch was in your study well before you brought her home!"

With a rueful smile he turns to check on his daughter and his girlfriend … you underestimate Martha at your peril he reminds himself not for the first time. Turning back to her he says. "One day, hopefully soon, I'll tell you all about it Mother, right now I just need you to accept things as they are".

She looks at him for several moments before leaning forwards to drop her hand on his shoulder and place a kiss on his cheek. "Of course Richard, just don't hurt her … or get yourself hurt" and with a gentle smile in his direction she drops the tea-towel on the counter and heads upstairs.

He's almost finished tidying up when he's aware of being stared at. Turning he sees Kate leaning on the counter and Alexis nowhere to be seen. Raising an eyebrow at her, she shrugs, "We've finished critiquing and she's gone to put it away".

"And do I live to write another day?"

"That will depend on Alexis, she's much more ruthless than I am!"

Just then his daughter joins them and he turns to look at her, full-powered puppy look directed her way which has Kate snorting in amusement and Alexis shaking her head.


"I don't think I want to hang around to see the bloodshed, I'll get my things together and head home, Castle" Kate breaks in before Alexis can say anything, though she places a hand on the girl's arm and looks at her apologetically.

"That's ok, it won't be a pretty sight" says Alexis with a grin as she watches her father take Kate's arm and head towards the office.

Despite his protestations, she's adamant she needs to leave. "Look Rick, I have to get myself organised for work tomorrow, I've also got all these clothes to sort and wash, plants to water … and a lot to think about" stopping to drop her now bulging holdall on his bed and turning to put her arms around his waist.

Pulling her into him, he places his fingers under her chin and raises her face till he can drop a kiss on her lips, at first gently, then with the fierceness of parting. They both pause for breath, Kate dropping her head against his chest and letting out a reluctant sigh.

"I'll call you tonight, Ok?"

He looks down at the crown of her head and asks, "Promise?" the answering nod against his chest having to satisfy him for the moment.

"I just hope I can get a cab in this rain" she adds as she turns away to pick up the holdall from the bed.

"No need to" he says, taking the bag from her hands and letting her precede him through the door, "I called my limo service, Simon will be downstairs waiting for you"

"Castle!" she turns to him in the middle of the office "wh…" but he places a finger across her lips, shushing her and smiling down at her.

"I'm not having you drown on the way home, I'm expecting a call tonight, remember?" Then, turning to the desk he opens a drawer, pulls out an envelope and tucks it into the side pocket of the holdall, making sure it's pushed well down.

Alexis meets them at the front door, and whilst Castle pulls Kate's and his own coats out from the closet, she gives her a hug saying, "See you Kate" before turning and heading over to the couch.

A very quiet Kate Beckett leads the way into the lift and gives little acknowledgement of his presence as they head down. Castle lets her have the space and silence, beginning to understand the way her mind works, though he'd rather be all over her.

They reach the lobby and Castle takes the umbrella from Eduardo, signing him back under cover and leading Kate out to the waiting limo, its exhaust blowing smoke into the rain. There's a bit of an umbrella fight as Simon opens the door for her and Castle clashes his umbrella with the chauffeur's. Then there's a quick kiss before she's climbing into the rear seat and he's left standing on the pavement, watching the black car head down Broom.

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